How Eco-Friendly is your Food Packaging?
The short answer to this question is it’s not.
With extreme weather conditions occurring more frequently because of climate change, we are becoming more conscious of how our actions affect the planet.
We are all no doubt familiar with the motto ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’, but we sometimes forget it in relation to packaged products – in particular food.
This blog is going to look at food packaging – how it’s produced, the environmental impact it has and how we as consumers to do to be more environmentally friendly.
The production of food packaging.
Walk into any supermarket and you will see rows and rows of products packaged in plastic and cardboard. For these to be manufactured requires natural resources that are finite (e.g. water, oil and timber).
We cannot continue to use these scarce resources so quickly – before too long we will run out and all we will have to show for it is a lot of rubbish and a polluted planet.
Just in Australia alone, 3.3 millions of tonnes of packaging is produced.
It takes a lot of energy just to create this packaging, so if you’re throwing it away instead of recycling it, you are being doubly wasteful – firstly, the energy and time it took to create the product cannot be replaced and if it isn’t reused in some way, it ends up in landfill, which takes up space and contributes to soil and water contamination (not to mention the production of methane).
Apart from that, things like aluminium take hundreds of years to decompose, while a glass bottle will sit in landfill for the next million years. Needlessly throwing them away does not help promote a sustainable future.
What can you do?
As a consumer, you can be proactive it decreasing your carbon footprint. When you are doing your weekly shop, be mindful of the type of products you are buying. Ask yourself how much packaging this item has and whether there is a greener alternative? When you’re finished with the packaging, consider if you can reuse or recycle it.
Even though a lot of people struggle with it, try and get into the habit of taking your reusable ‘eco’ bags to the shops or farmers’ market. This will decrease your reliance on plastic bags.
You know those mini sized servings of items you find in the supermarket (e.g. yogurt)? They are terrible for the environment. Instead of purchasing them, get the larger sized containers and serve them in small containers if you need to.
When you’re buying fruit and vegetables, do you really need to put them in separate plastic bags? Why not buy them loose or in paper bags?
A typical household can avoid generating huge amount of carbon dioxide each year if they are more mindful with recycling. It’s worth jumping onto your local council’s website to see what can be recycled. It may be much more than you think.
We are very passionate about environmentally friendly packaging and hope this blog has been informative. We urge you to take more of a sustainable approach to your lifestyle.